News > Gmail


Changes and improvements to AIM interoperability

Category: Gmail | May 19, 2011

Posted by Matthew Leske, Product Manager

From the beginning, we designed Google Talk using open standards so that you could connect to your friends and family using any chat product, making communication as easy as possible. A few years ago, we announced our partnership with AOL which made it possible for people to chat with AIM users right from inside Gmail. Today, we’re happy to report that AOL has now made it possible to chat with AOL contacts across a variety of Google services: not just Gmail, but also iGoogle, Orkut, and Google Talk on Android phones.


If you chat with AIM buddies in Gmail, you’ll notice a few changes. First, you’ll no longer need an AIM account to connect to your friends using AIM. Instead you’ll be able to add your AIM buddies just like you add Gmail contacts to your chat list: using their AOL screennames (for example, username@aol.com). AIM users will now also be able to add Google contacts to their AIM chat clients.


Second, you’ll no longer be able to sign into your AIM account from within Gmail chat since you can now add AIM contacts directly. And lastly, if you previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don’t want to re-add them to your chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import your AIM buddies into your Gmail account. See their blog post for more info.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/SK0ZNG233p0/changes-and-improvements-to-aim.html

Color code your Google Calendar events

Category: Gmail | May 9, 2011

Posted by Michelle Chen, Software Engineer

If your calendar ends up full of many different types of events (film nights, lunch dates, and doctor appointments, for example), there’s now an easy way to categorize them using colors.


Just click on an event, then click the colored square in the top left of the pop-up bubble and pick a new color. If you don’t see this option quite yet, hang tight — it’ll be there for everyone within the next day or so.


Only you and anyone else you’ve given edit access to your calendar will be able to see the colors you choose. This has been a feature request from many of you for some time, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we do.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/yyfJwQqazs4/color-code-your-google-calendar-events.html

Color code your Google Calendar events

Category: Gmail | May 9, 2011

Posted by Michelle Chen, Software Engineer

If your calendar ends up full of many different types of events (film nights, lunch dates, and doctor appointments, for example), there’s now an easy way to categorize them using colors.


Just click on an event, then click the colored square in the top left of the pop-up bubble and pick a new color. If you don’t see this option quite yet, hang tight — it’ll be there for everyone within the next day or so.


Only you and anyone else you’ve given edit access to your calendar will be able to see the colors you choose. This has been a feature request from many of you for some time, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we do.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/yyfJwQqazs4/color-code-your-google-calendar-events.html

Store up to 25,000 contacts

Category: Gmail | May 4, 2011

Posted by Mike Helmick, Software Engineer

Gmail used to have a limit of 10,000 contacts. For most of us, this was way more than enough, but we heard from some of you who use Gmail to communicate with more than 10,000 people. We want you to be able to store all of your contacts in a single place, so starting today, we’ve increased the limit for all Gmail users, including all those of you who use Google Apps, to 25,000 contacts.


Also, previously an individual contact could be no larger than 32KB — big enough for most people, but not always sufficient for those who like to keep a lot of notes on individual contacts. Now, each contact may be up to 128KB in size, allowing you to store more information in the notes field.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/xSQFYqYveng/store-up-to-25000-contacts.html

How to set up Gmail to power through hundreds of messages each day

Category: Gmail | May 2, 2011

Posted by Paul McDonald, Product Manager

Gmail offers a ton of customization, and when you get hundreds of emails every day it’s crucial that you have it set up to process mail quickly and efficiently. Working on Gmail, I get asked all the time what settings and features I use to help me power through my mail. Rather than answer my friends and co-workers one by one, I thought I’d put it all into a blog post. So here goes.

  • Turn on Priority Inbox. I couldn’t live without Priority Inbox. I keep the default set-up with important and unread mail at the top of my inbox and the section for everything else at the bottom.
  • Show more than 25 conversations in your inbox. I like to see as many emails as possible per page so I can quickly scan through my mail, so I have this set to 100 (the max possible). Go to Gmail Settings and look for “Maximum page size” which you can change to 25, 50, or 100.
  • Enable keyboard shortcuts. Press the “?” key when looking at your inbox to see the list of keyword shortcuts. Make sure they are turned on, then pick one or two to start with and try to learn more as you become comfortable. I probably use ‘e’ to archive my messages and ‘j’ and ‘k’ to move through messages the most.

Many of the features I love can be found in Gmail Labs (click on the “Labs” tab from Gmail Settings). I have a ton of them on, but the combo of these four work really well for me:

  • Inbox preview: Shows a simple, static preview of your inbox while Gmail is loading. While you can’t take action on the messages until your inbox fully loads, it’s great to get a sneak peek and form a plan of attack.
  • Send and archive: Adds a button that lets you send a reply to a message and archive the conversation in a single click (keyboard shortcuts work well with this one, too).
  • Background send: Lets Gmail send your mail in the background while you move on to more important things.
  • Auto advance: Automatically shows the next conversation instead of going back to your inbox after you delete, archive, or mute a conversation. When combined with the “Send and archive” button and background send, this feature makes reading and replying to messages lightning fast.

Try out this set up and let us know what your favorite features are.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/Phq6mtWA4OU/how-to-set-up-gmail-to-power-through.html

Faces of Gmail: Petra Cross

Category: Gmail | Apr 28, 2011

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

Last month we kicked off “Faces of Gmail,” a series where we’ll introduce you to some of the members of the Gmail team. For our first post, we spoke with Manu Cornet, an engineer in Paris who made some of our favorite themes. This month we’re back in Mountain View with Petra Cross, a globe-trotting gal who builds tools to help make the Gmail engineering team more efficient.


What do you do on the Gmail team and how long have you been at Google?
I have been a software engineer at Google for over six years. I spent my first three and a half years with the search team developing a framework for evaluating the relevance of search results. Since then, I’ve been focusing on internal Gmail infrastructure and building tools that help make other Gmail engineers more productive.

What did you do before joining Google?
After I got my computer science degree from Santa Clara University, I worked for a year at a small Silicon Valley semiconductor start-up. Before I came to California, I studied CS in Slovakia. I’m always doing many things at the same time. While I was in school, I created and sold little black and white drawings, taught English classes at a local elementary school, worked as a talk-show host at a local TV station, modeled, and also sang competitively in a choir. I miss singing the most. Today, besides working on Gmail, I’m focusing on photography and my husband Bradford.

What are the three Gmail features you wouldn’t be able to live without?
Ah, there are so many features I would miss if they went away:

  1. Priority Inbox helps me point my attention to emails I might want to respond to first.
  2. I use chat a lot to communicate with my co-workers and friends. I also love Gmail’s ability to call phones.
  3. I like how Gmail organizes emails into conversation view, instead of putting each email into a separate line in the inbox. It makes it a lot easier to see the entire context of the discussion.


What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I visit my parents in Europe few times a year. To trick my husband into joining me on every trip to visit his in-laws, I try to wrap the trip into a fun package that includes more countries. And so, in the last three years, we’ve visited Belgium, Netherlands, U.K., Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Austria, Jordan (we visited Petra!), Lebanon, Egypt, and we also got married in a 13th century castle in Slovakia.

Besides traveling, I’m quite domesticated and I’m constantly decorating our San Francisco home. To my mom’s disappointment, I almost stopped cooking since I joined Google (blame the free Google food!) and started spending most of my days on a computer. I’ve been blogging a lot lately and also spending a lot of time photographing people. I can’t imagine what my life would look like without technology. I can’t even sit still on a beach for five minutes. Seriously.

How do you procrastinate?
I don’t procrastinate. I make conscious decisions to not do certain things at this very moment. Like right now, I am responding to your questions instead of coding. :)

What would your last meal be?
Crepes with Nutella and chestnut puree, and a lot of whipped cream. The whipped cream has to be hand-whipped, not from a can. Crepes need to be perfectly browned on both sides. I’m up for a crepe-off any time!

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/-IXM1tw6yHk/faces-of-gmail-petra-cross.html

Google Calendar Sync upgrades Outlook 2010 support

Category: Gmail | Apr 27, 2011

Posted by Gregory Yakushev, Google Calendar Team

Google Calendar sync started supporting the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010 back in August. Outlook sync has continued to be a top feature request, which is why we’ve continued to improve upon it and are pleased to announce that Calendar Sync now supports the 64-bit version too.

To start syncing your calendar with the 64-bit version of Outlook 2010, download Google Calendar Sync version 0.9.4.1. When the Settings window appears, enter your email address and password, choose your sync option and frequency, and you’ll be all set. Note that if you’re already using Google Calendar Sync, you’ll need to download and install this new version in order to be able to sync with 64-bit Outlook (we’re in the process of auto-updating everyone but reinstalling will ensure it works for you). For more info, take a look at our getting started guide.

We want you to be able to access Google Calendar anywhere, anytime. If you have any feedback please drop us a line on Twitter (@googlecalendar) or in the Google Calendar Help Forum.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/6YxqXdVZjZI/google-calendar-sync-upgrades-outlook.html

New in Labs: Background Send

Category: Gmail | Apr 25, 2011

Posted by Patrick Doyle, Software Engineer

We’re always looking for ways to make Gmail faster. One of the most common delays happens after you hit that “Send” button, when you’re waiting patiently for a couple seconds for Gmail to send your message. If you send a lot of email, that can add up to a lot of lost time.

To help give you that time back, there’s a new feature in Gmail Labs called Background Send. Once you turn it on from the Labs tab in Settings, you can get on with what you’re doing while Gmail quietly sends off your mail in the background. You can keep reading your inbox, compose new messages, chat with people — all the things you’d usually do. You can even send more than one message in the background at the same time.

If anything goes wrong (maybe you got that email address wrong, or maybe your connection had a hiccup), you’ll see a warning message that prompts you to go back and fix the issue or try again later.

The “Send errror” message will stay around until you decide to fix things, so you don’t have to stop whatever you’re doing right away. The only catch is that you should wait for your mail to finish sending before you close Gmail or shut down your computer. If messages are still being sent in the background when you shut down, your messages are probably going to be lost. You’ll know you’re good to go when you see a message like this:

We’ve been trying out Background Send for a while here at Google, and we like it a lot. We hope you like it too, and we hope it gives you back a little bit of your day!


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/zf4Mh9pAVEg/new-in-labs-background-send.html

Long label names in Gmail

Category: Gmail | Apr 21, 2011

Maciek Nowakowski, Associate Product Manager, Gmail Enterprise Team

Today we’re making a small change that makes it easier to handle long label names: you can now add and edit label names up to 225 characters. The old limit was 40 characters, which wasn’t enough for some people who had switched from Outlook or accessed Gmail through IMAP.

Label names can get really long, especially when you use Nested Labels. When that happens, Gmail will shorten them if necessary to avoid cluttering your view.

You can always mouse over to see the full label name and use colors to better distinguish your labels from each other.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/Y0yi1OTnRcI/long-label-names-in-gmail.html

Undo certain Gmail actions in your mobile browser

Category: Gmail | Apr 20, 2011

Posted by Bryan Logan, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted from the Google Mobile blog)

Sometimes when I’m using Gmail on my phone, I delete a message by mistake or label it incorrectly. Sure I can fish the message out of my Trash or remove the label and apply the correct one, but that takes several steps. Even just a few seconds is usually enough time to catch those annoying mistakes.

Now when you use the Gmail mobile web app, you’ll have a small window of opportunity to undo four key actions: archive, delete, add or remove a label, or move a message/conversation.

When you take one of these actions, Gmail displays a yellow bar that recaps what you just did and allows you to undo it:


This bar stays in position even if you move to another screen (e.g. moving to ‘Menu’ from ‘Inbox’). If you don’t happen to catch your mistake in time, not to worry: all four actions can still be undone through other means (e.g. you can move a message from Trash back into your Inbox).

Try it out at gmail.com in the browser of your Android or iOS device.

Update (10:00 am, 4/19/11): This update is available for phones running Android or iOS, but not tablet devices with the two-pane Gmail interface. It is also now available for BlackBerry OS 6.0 phones.


From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OfficialGmailBlog/~3/PN2J0E1c0oo/undo-certain-gmail-actions-in-your.html